Tips for Staying Centered Through the Holidays
The holidays are a magical time of year. So why do they often leave people overwhelmed? It’s probably because the same attributes that make them so special can be somewhat overstimulating. There’s a litany of responsibilities, planning, purchases, social obligations, and more. Stay centered and have an intentional season by applying some of these tips.
Make a Plan
You know yourself better than anyone, so think honestly about what things typically derail you this time of year. Are you the type to feel flustered amid a lot of activity, bogged down by responsibilities, or under the weather?
Whatever it is, identify and plan on how you will overcome it. For example, you can plan ahead which specific holiday activities you want to prioritize so you don’t get frustrated when you can’t do everything, budget your spending so you don’t overdo it and get anxious, and, importantly, build “me time” into your schedule.
Schedule Time for Yourself
It can be easy to get wrapped up in the holiday whirlwind, especially if you are traveling or hosting guests. Remember that you can’t show up for others if you aren’t showing up for yourself. Identify a few activities that make you feel your best and build them into your plans. For example, you might need to go on a daily run, take long baths, or catch up on YouTube while enjoying a morning coffee.
This also includes prioritizing the traditions that make the holidays uniquely special to you, whether it’s making a specific dessert or watching a favorite movie. Unapologetically make them happen, even if it means occasionally saying “no” to other things.
Connection is a super power when it comes to staying centered. Our tribe can uplift us and keep us present, even on the most hectic days. Prioritize staying connected with the people that ground you, whether it be your partner, friends, or family. If it’s not possible to see them in person, give them a ring when you need to vent, or schedule a FaceTime date to look forward to.
Staying connected also includes staying connected to the present. Anchor yourself in the here and now by frequently checking in with all five senses: truly savor the taste of delicious hot cocoa, gaze at the festive sights, and soak in the sounds of your favorite holiday album.
There’s no question that gratitude plays a huge role in mood. This season, make an effort to be grateful for the little things, whether it be your health, time with family (physically or virtually), or having a safe place to lay your head. This year has admittedly been weird, but also likely put what matters most into perspective. Make gratitude a daily practice by beginning every morning journaling or simply thinking about the top three things you’re thankful for.
Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself in the middle of the bustle to take a moment for yourself. A few easy ways to tune out and decompress include scribbling on an adult coloring book, reading a novel, or simply going for a walk.
You might also benefit from taking a social media break for a day or two. Perfectly curated grids and tapping through highlights can sometimes make you feel “less than.” Remember that these are curations and everyone has a deeper reality behind the username.
Roll with the Punches
Ultimately, we need to realize that nothing is perfect, and things don't always go as planned. (2020 in a nutshell, am I right?) This season, practice going with the flow and taking the path of least resistance. This might mean picking your battles or challenging your emotions before you take them at face value. Remember that it’s up to you to think, feel, and ultimately act to make this holiday the best one yet. You can do it!